Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Open Letter to Wilson from Gretchen

Wilson—Wilson—Wilson—what is life, but opportunities to grow and experience the moments I’ve created for you. The problem is, you and Max have decided to live your own lives and as much as I try and dictate what is going to happen; you both tend to pull back on the thick reigns I’ve lashed across your experience and gallop in the other direction.
It seems the expectations I have set for you may have been too conservative. The life I’ve envisioned for you has been overshadowed by your brilliance. Did I expect you to touch so many people? Maybe—but I never imagined you would change their lives.
It could’ve been your life story, or your innocence; maybe it was the thrill of your first experiences, or the agelessness of your soul. Damage or healed, no matter which way, you’ve become so much more than a character to people.
You represent a missed youth, a healed memory, and a time in a young girl’s life when everything seemed so powerful and yet completely powerless.
Your story found a way to tuck and nuzzle into the folds of people’s hearts. You’ve brought them so much more than I could have ever imagined.
So Wilson, I ask for your patience. Understand the words I type across the pages of your life aren’t merely letters of an alphabet mixed up to make up your world. They are words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters that make up your story.
Without your voice echoing in my ears and your story pummeling my every thought the world would have never had an opportunity to meet you.
So I guess it boils down to Thank You Wilson. Thank you for giving me a story to write, a group of characters to develop, and most of all—a love story that reminded me of what it felt like the first time I fell in love.

Your Muse,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Community Focus!

 There are no words, or phrases I could say that could express the gratitude I feel for everyone who has supported me in my journey in becoming a published author. Your kind, heart-felt words mean so much to me. It is such an honor to touch so many lives. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wilson Mooney Release Party!

If there is one thing in the world that could humble you faster than being caught with your pants down around your ankles, it is being asked to read the first chapter of a book you wrote to a packed house. Okay call me a doofus; but in my mind, I thought who would want to hear me read, the first chapter of Wilson Mooney? I mean come on; there was amazing food, extraordinary people, and blended Skip and Go Nakeds to taste. We were in this beautiful home, celebrating the release of Wilson. Who would want something more??? Well I guess the people who came to share in the excitement of my debut novel wanted more. They wanted to hear the inflection of Wilson’s words and the inner most thoughts she shared using my voice.

I sat on the thin cushioned bench of a bay window. In front of me people busied themselves to settle in for an experience I chalked up as strange—they identified as creative. I soaked in the salts of vulnerability as I looked out in front of me. Every eye, every mouth, every moment of their anticipation began to fuel within me a love that ignited an ease that splashed from my head down to my toes. The music that danced slight in the air tangled delicately with the mood; like a faint glow that gave you a freedom to move through the darkness. The hush of the people, the clearing of my throat, and as the words I created poured passed my lips—chills vibrated throughout my entire body; it was their laughter and sighs, cued as perfect as I could have ever imagined, that filled the room. I shared with them an intimate look into my relationship with characters that only existed in my head a year and a half earlier and they gave me the confidence that what I wrote was worthy of their time.

If you asked me how I felt that night; I would have to say, humbled, amazed, proud, touched, fulfilled, grateful and of course, scared shitless!

Thank you for sharing a magical night with me! Whether you were there in body or spirit, I felt all your support and love.

One big thank you—I must shout out to the crew and contributors who made the release party such a success; Becky, Nana, Kathi, Debbie, Karley, Grandma K, Joe, Ed, Katerina, Melissa, Connie, Jared, Josh, Kyle, Nick and Nate (God don’t let me forget anyone and if I did, I am so sorry and will catch you on the flip-side).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Book Trailer & Where to Buy the Book!

Here is the new book trailer for Wilson Mooney, Almost Eighteen. 

Available at these fine online retailers!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sometimes the Words are Hard to Find.

I am in the throws of trying to get the second book, Wilson Mooney, Eighteen at Last, written. It is so different than, Almost Eighteen. With the first book everything flowed free. There wasn't expectations, responsibilities to the readers, just me and my thoughts, experiences, and characters. I allowed twists and turns to develop as I discovered the lives of Wilson, Max, Cindy, and Nick.

Now suddenly there is a past to coordinate with, a story I have to refer to, lives to effect. Suddenly it isn't as easy as it used to be. But that is writing; as in life, everything doesn't have to come up peaches and cream. Sometimes we must tread through binding times to discover freedom; experience lack to recognize abundance; and struggle with words, to bust open creative development. 

I know as I get ready to release the first book in the series, that the work I am doing on WM2 will be just as good if not better than the first. I know that the demand will be placed square on my shoulders to release a continuum stronger than the life experiences from Almost Eighteen. I just hope I can give my readers everything they want without losing my way in Eighteen at Last.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Got My Proof!

So last week I received my proof by UPS man. I know this will sound corny but I didn't open it right away. I put the brown tattered box on my counter and stared at it. I wanted to live in the moment of the excitement that under the package taped flaps, there were two copies of my novel.  Wilson and all the words that created her story were in print, safely tucked with care in the brown cardboard box.  It wasn't torturous by any means, it was inspiring, uplifting, and scary.

You ask why scary? Well, for one, suddenly it is real. It is different talking about your novel to people. But once it is in print, it is solid. Real. An example of your creativity. Once the book is out there, everyone has the opportunity to judge it. Suddenly, the reality of becoming a publish author smacks you right between the eyes.

So once I soaked up the idea that in the sealed box were two copies of my novel I had my family come and watch the opening of the box.  Personal? you bet, but I wasn't going to let the labor of building this book be lost in opening it by myself. My son grabbed the video camera and taped me opening the box. Suddenly, I had a knife in my hand and I was poking it into the gap and dragging it down to cut the tape.

It was like Christmas morning, I yanked and pulled on the box flaps, my heart fluttered and pounded heavy in my chest. I was opening my present; my child like expectations were in a full gallop. Of course unlike the movies, there was a packaging slip (BTW, it had the name of my book and me as the author!) then brown crumpled paper on top. But once I slid the brown paper down, I saw my book in print for the very first time.

It was an amazing, breathtaking, and awakening moment. It was almost surreal. In my hands was my book. I touched it, looked at it, and realized I had accomplished something truly inspiring. I followed my dream, and published the story of Wilson Mooney. A girl who came to my mind with a story to tell.

Now I have the book, yeah I see that I have some work ahead of me, but over all, it has been the most enlightening, invigorating, and life altering experience and I wouldn't trade it in for anything!

 My goal is to have Wilson Mooney, Almost Eighteen available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble by the end of July, beginning of August. Then everyone can meet Wilson!


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Wilson Mooney, Almost Eighteen Book Trailer is Here!

My debut novel, Wilson Mooney, Almost Eighteen was inspired by my insatiable crave to ignite, in my readers, memories and feelings of the first time they were spellbound by passionate new love. Tastily portrayed encounters and emotionally charged dialogue rightfully fuel the relationship between the complex; yet inexperienced Wilson and the guy of her dreams. The matrix of this love story will escort you through Wilson’s delicate and intimate journey of new discoveries, a lost family, and her first forbidden love.

Wilson Mooney, Almost Eighteen will be available soon in print and eBook at www.amazon.com and only eBook format at www.barnesandnoble.com.  

Wilson Mooney, Almost Eighteen, a novel by Gretchen de la O. Book cover designed by Eunice Orteg√≥n.  Images used in this video production are licensed by DepositPhotos.com and 123rt.com. Music, My Deadly Romance licensed by JewelBeat.com

Friday, June 24, 2011

PDF Files, Book Covers, and Video Trailers… OH MY!

Alright people; right off the cuff I gotta tell you, as creative as I think I am or want to be, I really found out how much work goes into formatting the content, book covers, and video trailers. Okay, I have to admit something here, (just don’t tell anyone that I was so naive), creating a video story in a short allotted period of time, and watching the mesmerizing steps my graphic designer had to take because I wanted a little change to my book cover, was beyond me.

There is no such thing as click and drag in the real world of designing. I was under the impression she could just click and drag an image to move it. WRONG. I have to say, now I totally understand the tedium that can occur with designers or the exhaustion at the uncertainty of their clients. It took a good chunk of her time to make a change some people would feel was insignificant. But to her, she got what I wanted and smiled as she tapped her keyboard, clicked her mouse, and directed a magic symphony of commands to make the change perfect. She is amazing and soon, because of her magic I will be posting the cover soon.

Now, let me carry on to the task of making a teaser book trailer for the release of Wilson Mooney, Almost Eighteen. After spending numerous hours for several days listening to royalty free music blasting through my ear buds, I finally found the perfect song. I didn’t realize picking a song and downloading it was going to be the easiest part of the process.

It was finding the right pictures I wanted that was a lot of work. I gotta tell you, not just any royalty free photo of Max will do. Wilson had to be just right, and well... once you see the trailer you’ll understand that not just any old pictures would work. So many hours and numerous days later, I had a collection of example photos for the video.

Okay so most of us might not know that all those great pictures of our favorite gorgeous actors and actresses are not public domain. We really don’t have a right to just right click download it, only then to upload it to YouTube with our favorite Santana song whining in the back ground.

Don’t get me wrong, I love creating videos with my favorite actor’s pictures to some of my favorite bands; but creating a teaser video for my book, well that is a different beast.
I had to make sure I could get the rights to use the pictures to go with the perfect music (I bought just for the trailer). Hours upon hours scrutinizing the smile of one, the hair of another. He’s too dark, too light, hairy; not hairy enough, his hair is too short…the list goes on forever.

Once I started to master the navigation of photo sites, I knew I would be real close to finding the right “Max” for my video. Funny, some of the less exciting pictures were the hardest to find. 

Even as I type this post, I am not completely done with the video. I have the right words flowing, the right transitions chosen, and the right placement of the pictures done.

So now I have a semi-complete video of sample pictures and even though Max and Wilson have watermarks over their faces, I think we might have a winner…Now I better get buying my licenses so I can recreate a watermark-less video. 

Did I hear you mumble something about formatting my content? Don’t even get me started…that’s for another post.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Got Your Book Cover...(coming soon)

I am getting really excited about the book cover.  My graphic designer, (okay it isn't like I own her, she is just totally amazing and I can't wait to show everyone her work) has really hit the nail on the head with the cover I wanted.  She is touching up the small changes and details we decided on. Soon, very soon, I will be releasing the cover art here on the WM blog, Written & Ready, and my website (and any other sites I can get to upload it).

As a matter of fact, I will  do a post introducing my graphic designer and her information, because when you see this cover, you are gonna want to have her do some designing for you.  The great thing about her is I gave her a few ideas and photos of what I wanted and she came back with great concepts.  She is a wonderful artist, amazing woman, and a professional.

So keep checking back for new posts about the release date of my debut novel, WILSON MOONEY ALMOST EIGHTEEN, and the amazing book cover design.